Churchill’s Secret Prisoners tells the previously suppressed story of fifteen British prisoners captured during the Russian civil war. The book explains how the bitter fighting ebbed and flowed along the Trans-Siberian Railway for eighteen months, until Trotsky’s Red Army prevailed. It includes the exploits of the only two British battalions to serve in the East, the “Diehards” and “Tigers”. An important chapter describes the fractious relationships between the Allies, together with the unenviable dilemmas faced by the commander of the American Expeditionary Force and the humanitarian work of the Red Cross.
The focus turns to the deeds of Emmerson and the other soldiers in the select British group, who are ordered to “remain to the last” and organise the evacuation of refugees from Omsk in November 1919.
The events described in this book are not only a stirring tale of courage and adventure but also only lift the lid on an episode that did much to sow distrust and precipitate events in World War Two and today.
Tickets £7 (allowing £5 off the book on the night). Hungerford Library. 7:30pm.
Tickets from Hungerford Bookshop (01488 683480) or on-line at ArtsForHungerford.com